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If your law firm is doing business in India, you will want to pay attention to the dispute currently taking place between Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, and the Indian government. The two have been "locked in a dispute about access to the encryption used on BlackBerry devices.
On Monday, India agreed to withdraw its BlackBerry services ban for two more months. In exchange, RIM agreed to provide Indian government security with more access to corporate e-mail and instant messaging, The Associated Press reports. The Ministry of Home Affairs will review the potential BlackBerry ban in 60 days; the Department of Telecommunications will study the prospect of having BlackBerry services routed through servers in India.
RIM has been hesitant to agree to provide access to its encrypted corporate e-mail. For one, BlackBerry users are particularly fond of the devices due to their strong encryption, which helps protect business secrets. The company further argued that it was technically impossible to provide the access. That argument was weakened after Nokia Corp. agreed to install a server in India to allow government access. The Associated Press reported that the Indian government voiced concerns over encryption being used by terrorists or militants to avoid having their communications intercepted.
In the meantime, law firms are advised to monitor this issue. As we have mentioned in the past, Google Alerts are a great option for firms who wish to follow such issues as they evolve, even in real time. For example, a Google Alert using the terms "BlackBerry India," should keep you up to date very easily. If it isn't an issue of dire importance to your firm, consider setting the frequency option to once-a-day or once-a week.